New Delhi: Indian Oil Corporation may double its diesel imports to one million tonnes in the next financial year if domestic demand continues to grow strongly, its director of finance said on Monday.
India’s diesel consumption grew an annual 10.5% during the first 10 months of the fiscal year to end-March and surged nearly 16 in January from the same month a year ago.
State firms meet the entire demand for high-grade diesel as private refiners like Reliance Industries, unlike their government-run counterparts, do not receive compensation for having to sell fuel at subsidised rates.
As a result, they export to highly lucrative global markets.
“If growth continues at this level, under-recoveries at this level, nobody is going to sell. We (state-run firms) have to sell,” S.V. Narasimhan said, referring to losses incurred due to the high cost of global crude.
India meets 70% of its oil needs through imports.
Narasimhan said that to meet domestic demand the firm would buy 700,000 to a million tonnes this fiscal from another private refiner, Essar Oil.
Kerosene imports were unlikely to change, and the official said IOC, India’s biggest refiner with 10 plants that together can process 1.204 million barrels of oil per day, would ship in around 1.2-1.5 million tonnes in the next fiscal.